Free Markets, Free People

The White House shuffle

Good news or bad news? What do my favorite political junkies think?

President Obama’s inner circle will likely be losing some key players. CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante reports that sources say David Axelrod, the president’s closest advisor, will move to Chicago next spring.

Axelrod is expected to reassume his role as campaign manager in Mr. Obama’s 2012 reelection bid. A potential, if not likely, replacement for Axelrod is current White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
The dominoes don’t stop there. Rahm Emanuel, the president’s Chief of Staff, may leave the White House as soon as next month.

Part of the problems of this administration –other than the inept leadership provided by the President – can be found in those which Obama has surrounded himself.  That’s most true of any administration, but for this one in particular, it’s been particularly evident that many of them haven’t a clue, and they could only buy one with your money.

All kidding aside, while Axelrod may have been a great campaign manager, I’d have to say he’s been a bust as an adviser and spin doctor.  He’s out of his depth.  He belongs exactly from whence he came, running a campaign.  There he has the experience and the knowledge to be successful.  But politics and the daily grind of governing aren’t his cup of tea.

As for Emanuel, as much as I don’t care for the man, to me he’s the “reality” anchor there.  He knows intimately how the system works and who within the system must be used to accomplish whatever the agenda is.  He’s also, based on what I’ve read, been the guy who has tried to keep them more toward the center  – not at all very successfully – because he has a good idea of what can and can’t be foisted upon the American people without losing political viability.  ObamaCare, again as I understand it, was a battle he lost.

So whether this is good news or bad news depends largely on who will replace each of these people (same with his fleeing economic team).  Will a political operative take Axelrod’s place who knows the in’s and out’s of governing and is better able to present the administration’s views?   Will the person who replaces Emanuel be more radical and less pragmatic than the present Chief of Staff?

Frankly I don’t care particularly for either of the men filling the posts they have, but the story isn’t in the fact they’re leaving – it will be found in those who replace them and what they will bring to the job and how that will effect the direction of the administration in the future.



14 Responses to The White House shuffle

  • First impression:
    Robert “Fibs” Gibbs ELEVATED…?!?!?!  The guy is MR. Peter Principle NOW!  He has all the royalty of a good Irish Setter, and about half the brains.
    Rahm…for all his legion faults…was a sea-anchor on THE ONE.  I wonder if Jarrett might take that slot.  If so….it will be VERY BAD.

  • From other sources, the heirs apparent seem to be:

    For Rahm Emmanuel:  Valerie Jarrett.  This is a Lose-Lose replacement in my mind.  Jarrett does not have the street cred to fill Rahm’s shoes.  My sense of it is that Rahm has already been squeezed to the curb by Jarrett and others anyway to the point where his influence is minimal for the position he holds.

    For David Axelrod:  Robert Gibbs.  Once again this is Lose-Lose in my mind.  Gibbs is an Obama Parrot-head, quick to provide a “Yesah Massah” to anything Obama puts on the table.  If you are looking for someone who can provide some level of riposte to Obama, Gibbs is NOT your man.

    Obama will be the embodiment of what the Left tried to paint Bush in his last term – a man surrounded by syncophants unwilling and unable to deal with opposing opinions.

    • Jarrett is a dangerous amalgam of Chicago thug and doctrinaire Collectivist.  I have watched her gathering influence in this WH with horrified fascination.  She has NONE of the savvy of Rahm, having never served in Congress, and a record that puts her in the career kleptocrat category from Chicago.  Her prime job experience seems to be as a slum lord/community organizer/power-broker.  Largely the same skill-set as Obama, which can ONLY make the WH MORE an echo-chamber than is the case now.

  • The big changes are being made BEFORE  the elections, as if they will help?

    Or are the more grounded advisors leaving to avoid stigma?

    November will be very interesting when the left-leaning new advisors lash out. Of course, they enjoy that, but I don’t think voters like that at all.

  • You know Obama will secretly be sighing in relief when he no longer has to be in charge of everything and can just make speeches attacking his political enemies and traveling the world with lofty rhetoric.

  • Leaving their politics aside, I am repeatedly surprised by their rookie mistakes. I know that Obama is a rookie, but there is still some adult supervision left among the Democrats:

    “In my opinion, I don’t know who takes a tax vote, in their right mind, just before an election.”
    — Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA)

    Perhaps the answer is simple. The Obami weren’t very good to start with, they haven’t gotten any better, and now that a mighty judgment of voter wrath is bearing down upon them in a matter of weeks, they are coming unglued and high-level people are already jumping ship, with more to come after the midterms.

  • This White House is nothing more than a ship of fools. Sadly for the country, the leadership in Congress is even worse.

  • Boy, the rats are deserting the sinking ship, aren’t they?

    SShiellObama will be the embodiment of what the Left tried to paint Bush in his last term – a man surrounded by syncophants unwilling and unable to deal with opposing opinions. [emphasis original – dj505]

    I agree.  The man has shown no ability to deal with opposition other than to run roughshod over it if he can or else blame people for not going along with him just because he thinks that they should.  “I won” is no attitude to have when you have to work with people.  Hence, I have no confidence that he would even think about appointing anybody who would be inclined to argue with him.

  • So – taking bets on when we get the temper tantrum from the Wonton.

    • I’m looking for a full-blown meltdown of the sort involving ball bearings, a fictional key, and strawberries.

      • I’m putting The Caine Mutiny on my Netflix pronto!

        More seriously, I think it’s a coin toss whether Obama finishes his term without a meltdown or having to step down due to vague health problems.

        We all know that Obama was woefully ill-equipped in terms of experience to take on the Presidency. I also don’t think he had developed the necessary character for the Presidency, especially not in such a difficult time.

        Obama has basically skated through life with the winds of fortune and affirmative action at his back. He is used to adoring crowds and easy wins using dirty tricks as necessary to get through sticky spots. Aside from losing his father early and enduring an absentee, somewhat wacko mother, Obama has never faced adversity or experienced loss at the level that makes or breaks people.

        But Obama is getting hit now and hard, and his presidency is only going to get harder. I don’t now where he goes when his dream to transform America dies, and I worry about what happens when the inevitable foreign policy disaster — Iranian nukes, collapse in Afghanistan, war between the Koreas, collapse in Mexico, another 9-11, the list goes on — arrives.

  • Considering that Obama is still blaming Bush, maybe we should have Bush pick the replacements.